Last week, for the first time since 2009, an additional sitting day was called in Victorian Parliament to allow more time to debate the taxi tax (or Uber levy). Formally known as the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017, the Bill covers a lot, but the key points are:
As stakeholders in the timber and paper products industry in Victoria start to brawl over the reducing supply of sawlogs and pulp logs, the blame game has started. Instead of asking "why is there a not enough supply, and what could we have done better?", the questions have generally been "who can we blame?"
The Premier should be starting to worry. Last month, his government quietly decided a metre doesn’t matter, and that they wouldn’t be embracing legislation for a minimum passing distance. Instead, they’re proposing an education campaign - a good step, but not a complete solution.
The aspirations driving the establishment of an independent arbiter of infrastructure needs were admirable. Infrastructure planning in Victoria has become too politicised. The old Labor and Liberal parties hastily come up with plans only to see them scrapped when they lose government. Major projects are supported or opposed not on their merits, but on whether political points can be scored. Years of planning and design work can be dismissed solely because it is perceived as being tainted by the prior government.
In Victoria, we have the opportunity to lead the transition from a dirty, polluting fossil fuel vehicle fleet to electric.
On the first week of Parliament in 2017, the Greens successfully moved a motion for an Inquiry into how to incentivise the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Here are just five of the top reasons why it’s time to introduce EVs.
If you're a public transport user in Victoria, you've likely suffered long wait times and felt claustrophobic on an overcrowded service at some point.
Data the Greens obtained under Freedom of Information in January last year showed that over half of Melbourne's rail lines were overloaded during the morning peak.
If we look at forest protection, it’s pretty clear that the debate is over: Melbourne’s trails Sydney by approximately 900,000 hectares of protected reserve.
It’s good news for the Sydney-siders who get to visit the Blue Mountains National Park, which is only an hour from the CBD. It offers them the chance to escape the city grind and connect with nature.
It was a big year campaigning to create the Great Forest National Park (GFNP) and protect our incredible native forests from senseless logging by the government-owned ‘business’ VicForests.
It’s a great pleasure to share with you some of the highlights of last year working to protect our forests. But let’s first take a quick look at what we need to overcome after the year that has been 2016...
In the last week of Parliament in 2016, a request was tabled for an assessment by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council of fibre and wood supply from state forests. This study will most likely mirror what scientists have already proven: native forest logging in Victoria only has about five years left and has brought the entire Mountain Ash ecosystem to the brink of extinction.
Establishing the Great Forest National (GFNP) should be a no-brainer. Whether you’re an environmentalist who sits up at night thinking about an entire ecosystem and many threatened species on the brink of extinction, or a parent concerned about whether your kid will find job opportunities in struggling regional communities near these forests, the solution is the same. We need the GFNP now.
Not sure what the GFNP is? Check out this video or have a read of my speech here.